An electron microscope study on the cell wall of the diatom Cylindrotheca fusiformis was carried out using stereoscopic and sectioning techniques. Material prepared by an enzyme treatment or by a mechanical method showed that the wall consists of two major components: a silica shell and organic material. Vapor of hydrofluoric acid was employed to remove the silica and thereby reveal the arrangement of the organic material. An attempt was made to increase the contrast of the organic component by "staining." Uranylacetate not only increased the electron opacity of the organic material but also apparently decreased the electron opacity of the silica shell. In ultrathin sections of complete cells, the structure as revealed by stereoscopy could be confirmed and extended. Every part of the silica shell is tightly enclosed by organic material. In the valve region the silica enclosed in this way is located between other layers of organic material. The whole cell wall is surrounded by a mucilaginous substance which stains with ruthenium red.

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